12 days traveling are over now. Every day I was flying to another airport... made in total 51 flight hours, which is less than in the last two years, because the weather in the first week was very difficult. Sometimes I could only fly two hours and was glad, that I could move at all. 3900 km (OLC) and 2300km distance between the airports were flown. Here is the route:
Riesa-Canitz > Leszno > Kamenz > Jelenia Gora > Opole > Grossenhain > Eisenhuettenstadt > Olsztyn > Grudziadz > Ostrow > Rothenburg > Zwickau > Riesa-Canitz
Here are the flight tracks, had to turn around 130km before Lithuania, skipped Slovakia because of engine starter problems.
This year I wanted to find out, whether it is necessary to take a tent and how often it is possible to get a place in a hangar.
Tent is not necessary
I slept in the tent only in Leszno, because there was a competition and a dog show over the weekend. I could have gotten a room in a hotel down the road. In the area where I traveled (Poland and eastern Germany) a tent is NOT necessary. Required for sleeping in some aero-club accommodations are a sleeping bag and a bed sheet (better the air-bed I use, which is basically both, see menu "Equipment"). These need no space, because one can sit on both and leave the original sitting pads at home.
In 10 of 12 days a place in a hangar was available. Especially in the first week with thunder storms I needed a place in a hangar. This was no problem, only in Lezsno (due to dog show) and Kamenz there was no place available. In case of thunderstorm on that day I would have had to fly somewhere else or take the glider separated into the workshop for save storage. If necessary one can clarify before start, if there is space in a hangar available. The TravelByGlider data-base includes this information including contact telephone numbers.
For Opole I called in advance to make sure I can get a space. After landing I found, that they have space for 30 gliders!!!
It seems like the strategy of always flying towards the good weather for the next days works well. This year it was possible to fly every day, even if in all over Germany and France flying was not possible sometimes due to large bad weather areas. Sometimes it is necessary to change plans sponatainously, like in Leszno or Kamenz, where I changed the planed flying direction by 180° one hour before the start, because weather changed so rapidly. The overall statistics for 3 years traveling is now: In 34 of 36 days flying to another airport was possible, while flying more than 4 hours in average every day!
Aero-Tow / Self launch
This year I used a self launching glider (DG-808B) for the first time. In the last two years I used a Jantar Std.1 with Turbo (no trailer). At every airport towing was available. In Ostrow (Pl) I had to switch to aerotow, because the starter did not work. That was the reason why I skipped flying to Slovakia and flew back closer to my home airport. Later I found that the engine could be started in the air, thought this would not be possible, because there is no decompression handle, like in the Turbos... but it works well.
The DG seems to be perfect for traveling.
- There is PLENTY of space.
- The refueling system is great, the internal pump counts the amount refueled and stops by itself when the tank is full.
- The steerable tail wheel makes taxiing alone also in narrow circles very easy.
- High performance, gliding ratio of about 50 was very helpful when cloud base droped to 700m in giant mountains (Riesengebirge).
- strong engine, it rolls about 150m on grass and lifts climbing 4.5m/s... even short airports like Jenlenia Gora with 620m were no problem at all...
- Oel-mixing ratio of 1:50 demands less oil to be carried as luggage
Every day I met new people. They were very friendly and helpful. One time a pilot who did not speak English or German brought me delicious breakfast in the morning. I would like to thank all of them again. I really enjoyed the evenings we spent together. I am looking very much forward to next year, when its time again to "TravelByGlider" :-)